Oh, Oh, Oh … Oh, Riley!

Aren’t we a #blessed bunch?

California surfers are currently wallowing in self-pity through a winter of below-average surf and below-average temperatures. Australians, meanwhile, have enjoyed, but one cyclone in 2018. How cute!

North Florida surfers, on the other hand, are undoubtedly feeling satiated today, after the second cyclone of the winter of ‘18 lit up the East Coast, bringing nearly a full week of head-high to well-overhead waves to our little corner of surfdom and rekindling our love affair with a phrase most us just learned back in January — Bomb Cyclone.

While it certainly sounded scary to those in New England who were prepping to battle destructive coastal flooding and wind gusts of nearly 74 mph, Bomb Cyclone Riley instigated a different kind of anticipation in Northeast Florida. Preparations began in earnest roughly a week out, as weather models forecasted a significant groundswell for the region. With predictions of a swell period of more than 18 seconds, social media was set ablaze. Boards were waxed. Leashes were tested for durability. Sick days were scheduled. Plans for strike missions were hatched.

And, oh, how Riley delivered.

The frothiest sufferers of FOMO among us, like Asher Nolan and Justin Quintal, headed north to catch Riley’s opening salvo in the Big Apple. Many were content to stick close to home, finding that Riley’s substantial fetch paired nicely with their favored local sandbar. Others pursued the storm south, where they found many of the Sunshine State’s most hallowed, mythical spots beset by mountainous, azure a-frames and spinning cylinders. And the frothiest frothers — again, Nolan and Quintal — did all three.

As you rest those tired shoulders, we’ve curated a gallery of Riley gems to keep a smile on your sunburned, salt-caked faces.